Take This PowerPoint and Shove It

In the June 14th edition of Inside Training, John Ambrose, vice president and general manager of online reference-ware provider Books24 x 7, a division of SkillSoft, warns trainers that the graduates of the Class of ’06 are not likely to put up with the PowerPoint status quo. His is a noteworthy message for presenters, too:

“‘They thrive in a media-rich world. They almost enjoy being bombarded with lots of different input, and then they like being able to ferret out just the nuggets they want, and don’t want to be bothered with the stuff that’s not particularly relevant to them.’ So, that means plenty of immersive learning activities such as simulations, and the ability of systems that allow them to pick and choose, cafeteria style, the exact combination of information resources they need for the work at hand.”

“The new generation would rely on search, which is a very comfortable paradigm for them,” Ambrose points out. “Ten years ago, it was all about course completion. Course completion is the old paradigm of sitting passively, and going through an entire course from beginning to end. Now organizations are looking at minutes of usage as a real indicator of learning.”

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About Robert L. Lindstrom

The themes of interconnection and communication thread their way throughout Rob’s personal and professional life. For more than two decades, he has researched and written about the ways in which our rapidly advancing technology is stitching human beings and the world together into a vast electronic quilt. Variously referred to as a change agent, idea integrator and technology futurist, Rob pursues an awareness-building and perspective-altering approach toward communication born out of his passion for asking questions. A self-described “humanities junky,” Rob’s eclectic educational background includes photojournalism, theater arts, business law, magic, philosophy, mythology and education. He holds a B.A. degree from the University of Redlands and an M.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Rob is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in the pages of the Los Angeles Times, Forbes, Business Week, Fortune, California Business, Adweek, Westways, and numerous other publications. In the mid 1990s, he was among the first to introduce the business world to the emerging importance of rich-media-enabled communication in his best-selling book, The Business Week Guide to Multimedia Presentations. His follow-up Web book, Being Visual, explores the technology-driven rebirth of visual language that is changing how we connect and communicate in both business and society. Most recently, he co-authored Being Spherical: Reshaping Our Lives and Our World for the 21st century. Using mythological imagery in the form of The Sphere and an innovative and adaptive vocabulary, Being Spherical explores the dynamics of living in the 21st century and demonstrates how we individually and collectively are shaping the future – a future no longer dominated by traditional hierarchies and concentrated power centers. It explains why in this era of increasing interconnection and interdependence we require a dramatic transformation in the way we see, think and act and offers a process for doing just that. www.sphericity.com Rob is former editor-in-chief of two magazines in the field of multimedia communications. His writing and editing awards include the prestigious Los Angeles Press Club Award for Business Reporting, the New York Art Director's Club award for feature design and the Corwin Award for Drama. In two consecutive years, the Los Angeles Business Journal named him one of "The Rising Stars in High Technology." Connecting his fascination for the transformational influence of technology, his passion for hiking and his devotion to fatherhood, in 1998, Rob co-founded the Digital Exploration Society (DEX), a non-profit organization that pioneers the use of mobile technology for education, personal development and environmental awareness. DEX launches “digital expeditions” in which students explore, discover and share the interconnections between people, technology and nature. www.digitalexplorers.org Whether in drama, poetry, comedy or non-fiction, Rob seeks to uncover and express the common themes and basic human qualities that form the basis of human interconnection. In his work and all other aspects of the sphere of his life, he expresses and pursues his deeply held belief that as individuals and societies, being understood is our greatest challenge and understanding others is our one true solution.